We had quite the cold snap last week - cold enough that I broke out the little woolen undershirts and adorable booties sent by a friend (I need to learn how to knit, solely so I can knit teeny tiny adorable baby booties). And when it warmed up, I decided to implement mandatory outdoor time for the kids during Peter's nap, because it is getting crazy up in here and I need some quiet.
Mary Claire gave up pretty quickly and came inside on the first day, but she just sat next to Edith and read to her quietly, so I didn't say anything.
But when Elizabeth came RUNNING to tell me that they were skating on the pond and playing hockey and MOM YOU HAVE TO COME SEE THIS!!!
Well, yes. I had to come see this.
Before you think I'm a terrible neglectful parent, the pond is quite shallow and the worst that could have happened would have been waterlogged shoes and cold feet. But I needed to set some ground rules for the frozen pond, because OTHER ponds are not so shallow.
As you can see, it was quite obviously starting to thaw. And yet the ice by the pipe completely supported John Paul, as he showed me... So we talked about how you are never allowed to do this without an adult nearby and how the edges are the dangerous parts because the ice is thinner (see Cecilia's dress?), etcetera etcetera. In my head I had that scene from "It's A Wonderful Life" going, and actually we had just read "A Day on Skates" so I think they would've been ready to pull each other out had the need arisen.
Afterwards, though, they were ready for tea and quiet reading time. And since then I've managed to get them out for a good solid chunk of unsupervised outdoor time nearly every afternoon, and it's been wonderful for us all! They've been playing with boards and logs and climbing trees and having circuses and magic shows... I keep thinking I'd like to get them a swing set, but really our property is more fun than a swing set would be (although I *do* still really want a few swings to hang from trees).
They're happy to be outside in much colder weather than I prefer, although I *did* finally get outside with them for a nice long time when it hit about 60 as a high the other day. Edith napped in the sling and I had a blast watching them amuse themselves with an old tire and a piece of rope (and, ahem, had to send a certain 5-year-old inside for a bath after she decided to sit down in a very muddy puddle and make it even MUDDIER. Fully-clothed, at least? We had the same problem last year, but with twins and less clothing...).
Honestly, after all this spring-ish weather I'm feeling a little bit over winter! Although we haven't had a good big snow, and it's still only mid-January...